If you’re serious about honing your body into that of an elite boxer or rugby player (or even just shifting those extra work-from-home pounds), then you’ll know that overcrowded gym-chains which reek of sweat and desperation are not the place to be – especially if you’re just taking tentative steps back into working out post-lockdown. Thankfully, the capital boasts some seriously exclusive gyms that offer a great deal more than just free-weights or boxing classes.
So if you’re a fan of juice bars and gym-kit laundry services, we’ve curated a list of London’s most luxurious gyms that you need to know about now. Just be sure to mind your gym etiquette…
Best for flexibility: Core Collective
Despite, Core Collective’s prime locations in Kensington, Knightsbridge and St John’s Wood, it’s flexible membership options – with no sign-up fee, no contract and no monthly charges – make it an approachable option for the casual gym-goer. Ideal for no-fuss class-enthusiasts, this gym focuses on interval training, cycling, yoga, spin and TRX. The best part? Depending on the location you pick, there’s also a juice bar, cafe and even an art gallery.
Best for total body training: Barry's Bootcamp
A true stalwart of the L.A. fitness community, Barry’s Bootcamp launched on our shores in 2013 and has been delivering The Best Workout in the World® to a super-loyal following, including A-list celebs, models and Olympic athletes. Workouts are an hour long, alternating between high intensity interval training on treadmills and strength training with free weights, resistance bands, medicine balls and a whole heap of other equipment, and promise to burn up to 1,000 calories per session. Changing rooms come equipped with Oribe beauty products and its Fuel Bar offers a significant range of post-workout smoothies. Not ready for the in-house experience just yet? Barry’s expert trainers are running regular at-home workouts to get you back in shape.
Price: From £12 per home class/£23 per studio class
Locations: Canary Wharf | Euston | City | Victoria | Kensington
Best for extras: Equinox
Housed in a series of beautiful buildings across London, this gym packs quite the punch – literally – there are up to 102 classes per location available every week covering yoga, boxing, running, weight training, barre, TRX, cycling, cardio and dance. Depending on your location you can also take advantage of a range of extra amenities, including a members’ lounge, laundry valet, steam room and full service spa. Short for time? The Firestarter class is a 30-minute next generation body-blaster aimed to get results, fast.
With an international membership, Equinox has also been quick to pivot to digital during lockdown. Membership now includes access to virtual yoga and pilates classes, online personal training and daily content from the brand’s instructors and nutritionists.
Price: From £200/month
Location: Kensington | St. James’s | Bishopsgate
Best for the time poor: 1Rebel
As work schedules become increasingly lengthy, there has been a move away from indulgent lunches to intense workout sessions. At the forefront of this is 1Rebel. Founded by James Balfour in 2014, the chain offers short (45 minute) classes called Ride, Rumble and Reshape (spinning, boxing and HIIT respectively). Classes are often dark and accompanied by seriously loud live bands so there’s equal emphasis on the social element as well as the punishing workouts. Ultra-luxury facilities, on-site barbers, shake bars and free Prosecco on Fridays seal the deal. Can’t get enough of your favourite workout? The new Rebel TV service means you can tune in and tone up from anywhere.
Price: From £14 per class
Location: Broadgate | St Mary Axe | Bayswater | South Bank | Victoria | Angel
Best for Pilates: Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
Knightsbridge’s most luxurious hotel has made sure its fitness facilities are unrivalled by offering a limited number of private wellness members having access to one of the most in-demand Pilates coaches in the world: Hollie Grant. The 7,664 square foot gym houses Technogym equipment, a sauna and swimming pool, ice fountains and spa facilities. You’ll also get free valet parking, a complimentary gym laundry service, six guest passes, a renewal dinner at Bar Bouloud and discount on spa treatments.
Price: On application
Best health club: Third Space
Designed as an antidote to the stress of everyday life, Third Space health clubs offer a unique luxury aesthetic complete with all the latest equipment. Each one offers around 130 free classes a week – including weight training, yoga, spinning, HIT and strength and conditioning – as well as swimming pools, climbing walls, martial arts and dance. There are also live DJS, a spa, on-site medical services, restaurants and even a gym kit laundry service, all of which help Third Space challenge the monotony of standard gyms and make working out a pleasure. Membership also includes access to a dedicated app where you can take on hundreds of exclusive at-home workouts, online classes, nutrition advice and meditation sessions.
Price: From £170/month
Location: Tower Bridge | Soho | Marylebone | Canary Wharf | Islington | City
Best all-rounder: The Fore
More a fully fledged lifestyle concept than a straightforward gym, The Fore packs a fitness studio, personal training room, therapy room, cafe and co-working space into one chic location in King’s Cross. The fitness offering is class based and there are currently four on offer – Foretitude, Noga, Forebody and Four X Fore. Each class combines TRX with a range of elements, including free weights, Skillmill running machines, rip trainers and cardio, to create full body classes uniquely suited to your goals.
And once you’re done? Forget sweaty changing rooms. The Fore’s elegant changing space boasts private showers, in-house products and all the grooming essentials you need to leave ready for whatever your day holds.
Price: £20 per class
Location: King’s Cross
Best for boxing: Kobox
Boxing is brilliant for all round fitness – and it’s incredibly fun – but if you’ve always shied away from the punchbag at your usual gym for lack of knowledge then it’s definitely worth investing in a few classes at Kobox. The premise at each of the high-end chain’s three sites is the same: each 50-minute class is split into four rounds and each round split into two parts. Half a round is spent at the punchbag and half doing floor work and free weights.
At the beginning of each class trainers run through the basic boxing moves with first timers then the lights go down, the music comes on and suddenly you’re working out in a basement rave. There’s nothing guaranteed to get you pumped faster.
If you’re looking for something a little more personalised or just need a bit more guidance when working out on you own, Kobox’s 13 Training system also offers bespoke four, eight and twelve week programmes created by the gym’s trainers and delivered to your phone via a series of videos. There are also daily online classes for those still wishing to work out at home.
Price: £22 per class
Locations: Chelsea | Marylebone | City
Now you’ve chosen the right place to work out, it’s time to brush up on your gym etiquette…
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